TdF Friday

Two more days until the riders reach Paris and the Champs-Élysées.  Tomorrow’s time trial could very well determine who will wear the yellow jersey, and I’m really hoping it is Schleck and not Contador….but it’s kind of a long shot.  Here is my recap of this last week of racing and I look forward to what lies ahead this weekend.  Viva le Tour.

In yesterday’s Stage 17, the 11 mile climb up Tourmalet never produced any significant excitement between the top two riders and they crossed the finish line together.  That is one nasty hill and I was thinking that Schleck might just pull something incredible out of his jersey pocket and get his lost time back from his chain incident.

I’m pretty sure Jens Voigt will be remembered for a long, long time following his performance in this year’s Tour de France.  It won’t be for his stage wins or for holding the yellow jersey…it will be for his bravery and incredible attitude.  He started things off with that amazing climb in last Tuesday’s Stage 9, then he solidified his label of courageous this week in Stage 16.  Instead of re-writing the whole story, if you haven’t seen or heard about his incredible performance, take a look at this video and then read Jens’ comments as to how he refused to quit the race.

“The worst thing of all was that I almost got forced out of the Tour for a second year in a row. The problem was that the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result I had no bike, because mine was shattered.

So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.” – Jens Voigt

A screen shot from the Bicycling magazine Web site of Jens Voigt riding the Tour de France on a borrowed bike on Tuesday.

What an incredible attitude…..“I didn’t crash on my head, didn’t crash on my face, so things could be worse”. Are you kidding me?  What a good reminder for looking at things positively.

I don’t know about you, but I am now officially a Jens Fan.

What do you think of this year’s TdF?

  • Jon Spangler

    Well, I’m almost recovered from 3 weeks of sleep deprivation after arising at 5-5:30 AM PDT daily to watch the TDF. What a contest: injuries, cobbles, French riders winning breakaways, and Andy Schleck almost matching Alberto Contador’s performance to the second. Gripping, I tell you. Absolutely gripping.

    Speaking of gripping, I just entered Michelin’s contest for a free MTB, so send me my VISA cash card…

    Jon

  • http://www.myrnacgmibus.blogspot.com Myrna CG Mibus

    I am also a Jens fan! Didn’t have a clue who he was before a week ago. Love him now. What a positive force!

  • http://massivemtber.blogspot.com/ Clive Chapman

    The bloke is a legend. What an attitude.

    I thought the climb up the Tourmalet was one of the great Tour memories, Andy and the Spaniard going blow for blow, I also hoped Andy would drop the guy. I think the TT will do for him though unless a miracle happens. I’d love to see Andy in yellow riding through Paris.

    Best tour in years.

    The stat that did for me was the fact that they averaged on the 120 odd miles of the Tourmalet stage an astounding 19mph!

    My best ever average over the 12 miles I do to work is 17mph! The fellers ain’t human!

  • http://bikingtolive.com Bryan

    I talked about my views of this year’s TdF on my blog today too. I’m a huge Jens fan. That guy gives it 100% all the time and doesn’t know how to quit. He’s got a great attitude to boot. I wish Schleck would win as well.